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February 5, 2015

Helping neighborhoods—that’s what One San Diego wants to be known for. And with strong connections and support from local government, business, education and philanthropy, it seems to be just the group to do it.

One San Diego supports the interests of neighborhoods citywide and seeks to enrich the lives of all San Diegans through efforts to expand opportunities for youth, inclusive community engagement, empowering small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow San Diego’s economy, and building an educated and skilled 21st century workforce. 

Inspired by Mayor Faulconer’s inclusive vision of “One San Diego” and with the support and activism of First Lady Katherine Stuart, the organization is working toward a united city where opportunities exist for every resident in every neighborhood. This means bringing an enhanced quality of life to San Diego neighborhoods by engaging them through collaboration and community involvement, better connecting San Diegans with local leaders and celebrating the city’s diversity. To accomplish this, the organization has narrowed its attention to three major priorities: thriving communities, economic prosperity and youth opportunity, which serve as the focus for all of One San Diego’s efforts.

One San Diego held its first community forum in late January, bringing together nearly 100 attendees for an in-depth discussion of education for the 21st century economy. Community forums like this one will be the foundation of One San Diego’s programming for 2015, covering potential topics such as public safety, connecting neighborhoods to high-tech jobs, and further discussions on education and workforce development. “We have a deep connection to government, local businesses, education and philanthropy that I think distinctively positions us to bring information to people who may not otherwise have access to it,” says One San Diego Executive Director Barbara Ybarra.

Launched last fall by Mayor Kevin Faulconer and First Lady Katherine Stuart, One San Diego’s first project, which set the tone for the type of projects the organization hopes to support in the future, raised $30,000 to provide laptops at two libraries in support of the City of San Diego’s Do Your Homework @ the Library afterschool program. “We wanted to take Do Your Homework @ the Library beyond just a safe place to do homework or get tutoring,” Ybarra says. “As an organization we want to not only meet basic needs, but take it a step further and give access to tools that some might think everyone has access to, but in reality they don’t.”

As for what similar projects they’ll work on next, Ybarra says the group is taking a close look at what’s happening around the city and talking to community members to identify areas where their efforts can make the most impact on San Diego neighborhoods.

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